Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, L.L.C.

Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, L.L.C.

Since our founding in 1994, our guiding commitment has always been to provide clients with the highest standards of professionalism, innovative thinking and strong service.

Firm Overview

This unwavering dedication is the reason we have continued to represent many outstanding clients in the years since we started the firm. We've remained a small firm, but one with enormously successful and enjoyable client relationships.

OUR CAPABILITIES
From our offices in New Orleans and Pensacola, we represent clients throughout the region in both litigation and transactional business matters. Our diverse range of talents and experience allows us to serve clients in many different business categories, including:
-Banking
-Bankruptcy
-Oil and Gas
-Construction
-Gaming
-Healthcare
-Insurance Coverage
-Intellectual Property
-Labor and Employment
-Maritime & Admiralty
-Real Estate
-Software and Information Technology
-Professional Services
-Retail
-Manufacturing

Please visit the Practice Areas section of this web site to learn more about our various capabilities.

OUR CLIENTS
We're fortunate to enjoy many excellent client relationships that have evolved from years of productive lawyer-client partnerships, mutual trust and good results. In a recent survey, some of these clients shared various comments about their experiences with our firm:

"They're small yet very flexible with a wide variety of disciplines."

"These are lawyers I'd recommend. Smart, experienced in their field, practical, and very cost sensitive."

"Tightly focused, tightly held, very successful"

"I told a colleague recently that this is a firm of 'cracker jacks.'"
Main Office
Main Office
1100 Poydras Street, Suite 3100
New Orleans  LA  70163
Phone
  • 504-585-3800
Fax
Websites
Real Estate
The law office of Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, L.L.C. will represent your real estate legal matters.
Our attorneys and support staff are experienced in providing a full spectrum of services in this area, including a wide variety of contract disputes, property damage claims, expropriation and condemnation claims, personal injury claims, trespass claims, lender liability claims, insurance coverage issues, unfair trade practices, trade secret claims, patent, trademark and copyright infringement, and bankruptcy litigation. To the extent that some of our larger clients are self-insured, we also defend them against third-party liability claims in the bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage contexts. We are also experienced in commercial mediation, arbitration and administrative proceedings.

Raymond G. Areaux

Registered Patent Attorney
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Raymond G. Areaux is a founding partner of the firm, where he chairs the firm's intellectual property practice group. He served as Managing Member in the founding year of the Firm and for a 3 year term in 2010-2012.

Client Services
His practice is devoted to obtaining, licensing and enforcing all manner of intellectual property rights. His primary practice areas are computers and software, patents, trademarks, domain names, trade secrets, media law, copyright, unfair competition and franchises. He is a Registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is a frequent lecturer on intellectual property topics. Mr. Areaux's experience includes prosecuting patents in the electronic arts, software arts, web-based delivery arts, biotech arts, and mechanical arts; negotiating licensing, outsourcing and technology transfer agreements; prosecuting and maintaining a large variety of trademarks, service marks and brands; litigating patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright infringement and licensing disputes and litigating other contract disputes involving technology, including patent infringement claims against the United States government, including claims against the Department of Defense military departments; litigating domain name disputes, including UDRP and ACPA disputes; and arbitrating computer software licensing and transactions disputes. Mr. Areaux also assists his clients in preparing and negotiating organizational and operating documents for corporations and limited liability companies and related agreements as well as agreements for the acquisition or divestiture of companies and/or their assets, including angel, venture capital and other private capital investment arrangements.

Mediation and Arbitration Services
Mr. Areaux is often asked to serve as a mediator or arbitrator for patent, trademark, licensing or other intellectual property disputes. Mr. Areaux has served as an arbitrator with the AAA since 1994.

Other
Adjunct Law Professor, Loyola University School of Law, for 15 years teaching "Trademarks and Unfair Competition".

Other Professional Experience: former product development engineer with IBM and former systems engineer with Conoco.

AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
Martindale-Hubbell 2011

Year Admitted to Practice: 1985

Education: Tulane University, B.S. Computer Science, 1978; Tulane University, B.S. Electrical Engineering, 1978; Loyola Law School, J.D., 1985.

Law School Honors:
Loyola Law Review.

Affiliations:
Registered Patent Attorney since 1989; Loyola University School of Law, Adjunct Professor, Trademarks and Unfair Competition (since 1999); past Member of Advisory Board, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department, Tulane University); Licensed Professional Engineer (Electrical Engineering)(now inactive); American Bar Association (Intellectual Property Law Section, Antitrust Section, Business Law Section and Litigation Section); Louisiana State Bar Association; International Trademark Association (past member of Editorial Board, Trademark Reporter); American Intellectual Property Law Association; American Arbitration Association (arbitrator); Original member of the UCITA study committee for the Louisiana State Law Institute; National Society of Professional Engineers; Louisiana Engineering Society; Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu.

Areas of Practice:
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Intellectual Property

Bar Admissions:
Registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office; All Louisiana state and federal courts; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Education
  • Loyola Law School
    Juris Doctorate , 1985

Seth E. Bagwell

Seth E. Bagwell joined the firm as an associate in 2011. He received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2008. Mr. Bagwell graduated cum laude and received his Juris Doctor and Bachelors of Civil Law from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. While at L.S.U., he served as Treasurer for the Trial Advocacy Board and competed in the ABA National Arbitration Competition. Mr. Bagwell also participated in an externship with Judge Eugene Davis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the fall of 2010.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2011

Education: University of Louisiana at Lafayette, B.S., May 2008; Louisiana State University, J.D. 2011.

Law School Honors:
Chancellor's Merit Scholarship Recipient, Treasurer for Trial Advocacy Board; CALI award in Civil Law Property, Federal Civil Procedure 1 and Louisiana Civil Procedure II for highest grade.

Areas of Practice:
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Insurance Coverage
-Labor & Employment
-Oil & Gas

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
Education
  • Louisiana State University
    Juris Doctorate , 2011

Ian C. Barras

Registered Patent Attorney
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Ian C. Barras, a partner with the firm, joined the firm in 2006 and practices primarily intellectual property law. He is a Registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and his practice is devoted to obtaining, licensing, and enforcing all manner of intellectual property rights. His primary practice areas are patents, trademarks, computers and software, trade secrets, copyrights, and unfair competition. Mr. Barras' experience includes preparing and prosecuting patents in the electronic arts, software arts, web-based delivery arts, and mechanical arts; representing clients in patent, copyright and trademark infringement litigation; preparing patent infringement, validity and novelty opinions; advising clients on trademark and copyright policing and enforcement issues; representing clients in domain name disputes, including UDRP proceedings; and, negotiating and preparing licensing agreements, patent assignments, and other types of intellectual property agreements.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Barras was a research and development project manager for Entergy Corporation, where he provided both technical and managerial oversight for millions of dollars in research projects, including projects with major universities such as M.I.T., Georgia Tech, and Tulane University. Mr. Barras later worked for Entergy Corporation as a senior power distribution engineer.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2007

Education: Tulane University (B.S. in Electrical Engineering, magna cum laude with departmental honors, 1999; M.S. in Electrical Engineering, 2002); Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, (J.D., summa cum laude, 2006).

Law School Honors:
Member, Loyola Law Review; Loyola School of Law William L. Crowe, Sr. Scholar; Loyola School of Law Dean's Award; Louisiana State Bar Association Corporate and Business Law Award; the Warren E.W. Mouledoux Memorial Scholarship; the LaNasa-Greco Foundation Scholarship; Law Excellence Awards for Highest Grade in Federal Civil Procedure I, Business Organizations, Community Property, Law & Poverty and Copyright Law.

Affiliations:
Registered Patent Attorney with United States Patent and Trademark Office; Member, Louisiana State Bar Association, American Bar Association (Intellectual Property Section), Federal Bar Association and New Orleans Bar Association; Member, Louisiana Technology Council; Member, Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (I.E.E.E.); Tau Beta Pi; Eta Kappa Nu. President, Ursuline Academy Dads' Club, 2010-2012; Secretary, Louisiana State Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, 2013-2014.

Areas of Practice:
-Intellectual Property
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state courts; United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Education
  • Loyola University New Orleans School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2006

Harry M. Barton

Mr. Barton joined the firm as an associate in 2009. He has extensive experience in complex commercial litigation covering a diverse range of topic areas, including intellectual property, oil and gas, trade secrets, bankruptcy, banking, construction, lease and contract disputes, first amendment and antitrust law. As a litigator, Mr. Barton has prosecuted and defended a variety of claims and successfully negotiated settlements in and out of mediation. Mr. Barton has assisted clients with a variety of intellectual property matters outside of litigation, including prosecuting state and federal trademark registrations, drafting and negotiating contracts and licenses for film and music industry clients and providing advice to employers on policies related to the retention of proprietary information and technology. Mr. Barton has also assisted local small business clients in matters of entity formation and governance.
Mr. Barton is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. He earned a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration with a Minor in Economics from Louisiana State University in 2001 and earned a Juris Doctor and Bachelor's of Civil Law from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 2005. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Barton was an associate with Phelps Dunbar, LLP in New Orleans in the Commercial Litigation group.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2005

Education: Louisiana State University B.S. 2001; Louisiana State University, J.D./B.C.L. 2005.

Law School Honors:
Member, Louisiana Law Review; Senior Associate Volume 65 of Louisiana Law Review; Junior Associate Volume 64 of Louisiana Law Review.

Affiliations:
American Bar Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association (Vice-Chair, Copyright Committee, October 2008-October 2009);Federal Bar Association; Louisiana State Bar Association (Chair, LSBA Intellectual Property Law Section, July 2008-August 2009; Treasurer, August 2007-July 2008; Secretary September 2006-July 2007); New Orleans Bar Association (Member, Young Lawyers' Section). Mr. Barton serves on the Board of Directors for Hands On New Orleans, a non-profit organization dedicated to coordinating volunteer service projects for the betterment of New Orleans and leads several volunteer service projects throughout the year with Save Our Cemeteries.

Areas of Practice:
-Commercial Litigation
-Intellectual Property
-Oil & Gas
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state courts; United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana.
Education
  • Louisiana State University
    Juris Doctorate , 2005

Roy E. Blossman

Roy E. Blossman is a founding partner of the firm. Mr. Blossman handles a variety of matters in banking and finance, including commercial financings, trouble debt restructurings, workouts, preparation of standard banking forms, general banking and lending advices and regulatory work. He also represents sellers and purchasers in sales and exchanges of developed and undeveloped real estate, preparation and negotiation of leases on improved and unimproved property, and all other kinds of transactions relating to real estate. Mr. Blossman's corporate and business practice includes asset acquisition and disposition, corporate and partnership formation and structuring, acquisitions, mergers, and general business matters and advices.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1985

Education: Louisiana State University, B.A. 1982; Louisiana State University Law Center, J.D. 1985.

Law School Honors:
Louisiana State University Law Review.

Affiliations:
Louisiana State Law Institute, Advisory Committee for the Revision of Articles on Mortgages (1989-present); American Bar Association; Louisiana State Bar Association; Texas State Bar Association; New Orleans Bar Association; Member, Senior Advisory Board of Parish National Bank; Board of Directors of Abita Brewing Co., LLC.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Gaming
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts; Texas State Bar.

Jacqueline M. Brettner

Ms. Brettner joined the firm as an associate in 2011. She practices in the areas of insurance coverage and insurance litigation, tort and casualty defense, mass tort litigation, personal injury, property damage, professional liability, alternative dispute resolution and class action litigation. Since joining Carver Darden, Ms. Brettner's practice has been primarily focused on litigation matters including complex multidistrict litigation in the specific areas of insurance and reinsurance, oil and gas, as well as personal injury and other tort litigation defense. Ms. Brettner has prosecuted and defended a variety of claims and successfully negotiated settlements in and out of mediation. She has experience representing her clients in complex coverage litigation and class action litigation at both the state and federal level and was heavily involved in the litigation arising out of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. She is also fluent in Spanish.

Ms. Brettner is originally from the Republic of Panama. She earned a Bachelor's of Art in Political Science/Mass Communication from the University of Florida in 2001 and earned a Juris Doctor from Tulane University School of Law in 2006. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Brettner was an associate with Phelps Dunbar, LLP in New Orleans in the Tort Litigation group where she counseled certain underwriters at Lloyd's of London, certain London market insurance companies and a number of other international and domestic insurers. Ms. Brettner has previously served as a Board Member for VIA LINK, part of Louisiana's 2-1-1 information system, and currently serves as General Counsel to the non-profit, Panama Gateway International Association, Inc. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Broadmoor Development Corporation and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana. Ms. Brettner also serves on the Tulane Alumni/Community Outreach Committee for the Tulane Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2006

Education: Tulane University, J.D., 2006; Order of the Barristers; Senior Trial Winner, Tulane Moot Court; Monte J. Tillis Memorial Book Award for Trial Advocacy; Queen Mary School of Law, Certificate in International Business Union Law, 2005; University of Florida, B.A. in Political Science and Mass Communication, cum laude, 2001.

Affiliations:
Louisiana State Bar Association, New Orleans Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, and Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel. Member: Order of the Barristers. Executive Board Member and General Counsel to Panama Gateway International Association, Inc.; Board Member: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana; Member: Professional Landmen's Association of New Orleans; Member: Young Leadership Council; Committee Member: Tulane Alumni/Community Outreach Committee for the Tulane Alumni Association Board of Directors; Past Board Member: VIA LINK. Registered Civil Mediator: Louisiana Bar Association ADR Section.

Areas of Practice:
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Insurance Coverage

Bar Admissions:
Admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana. All Louisiana state courts.
Education
  • Tulane University
    Juris Doctorate , 2006

Stacy Smith Brown

Stacy Smith Brown is a partner of the firm. She practices oil and gas law with an emphasis on BOEM regulations and contracts relating to the acquisition and operation of offshore oil and gas leases. Ms. Brown received her B.A. in accounting from Louisiana State University in 1986, and her J. D. from Tulane University School of Law in 1989. Ms. Brown appeared as counsel in Coleman v. Chevron Pipe Line Co., 673 So. 2d 291 (La. App. 4th Cir. 04/24/96), cert. den. 681 So.2d 1259 (La. 1996), in which she successfully prosecuted an expropriation of land in the Bohemia Spillway for Chevron Pipe Line Company's Empire Oil Terminal. Ms. Brown is the past president of the New Orleans Chapter of the Energy Bar Association. In 1993 she served as chairman of the Law School Liaison Committee for the Young Lawyers Section of the Louisiana Bar Association.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1989

Education: Louisiana State University, B.S. 1986; Tulane University School of Law, J.D. 1989

Law School Honors:
Order of Barristers; Moot Court Board (Administrative Justice, 1988-89); Senior Fellow; Student Bar Association Class Representative

Affiliations:
Board President, Covington Three Rivers Art Festival; Advisory Board President-Elect, St. Scholastica Academy; Board President, Kids Wanna Help; Energy Bar Association (President of the New Orleans Chapter, 2005 - 2009); American Bar Association; Louisiana State Bar Association (Law School Liaison Committee Chairperson, 1993); New Orleans Bar Association

Areas of Practice:
-Oil & Gas

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts
Education
  • Tulane University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1989

M. Hampton Carver

M. Hampton Carver is a founding partner of the firm, and practices oil, gas and energy law. Mr. Carver received his B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1966 and his J.D. from Louisiana State University School of Law in 1970. He was a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif. He is admitted to the bar of all federal courts in Louisiana. Mr. Carver has served as an adjunct faculty member at Louisiana State University Law School teaching mineral law. He is a former Chairman of the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute and of the Mineral Law Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association. He served on the committee of the Louisiana Law Institute responsible for the revision of the Civil Code articles on obligations and contracts. Since 1970, he has handled numerous oil and gas cases before the courts and the federal administrative agencies. Much of his work has involved disputes relating to Outer Continental Shelf leases, federal regulation on the OCS and acquisition of leases, gas balancing, royalty matters, and gas contract litigation. He has worked extensively in the negotiation of contracts for the acquisition of OCS leases, production handling, gas and oil transportation on the OCS, and operations in the deepwater.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1970

Education: Harvard College, B.A. magna cum laude 1966; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, J.D. 1970

Law School Honors:
Order of the Coif; Louisiana Law Review; Prize for the Best Casenote; Prize for the Best Comment; Prize for the Best Article on a Civil Law Topic

Affiliations:
Louisiana State Law Institute Committee to Revise the Civil code Articles on Obligations (Contracts) (1979-1984); Louisiana Mineral Law Institute, Chairman (1986-1987); Louisiana State Bar Association Section on Mineral Law, Past Chairman; Adjunct Associate Professor (Mineral Law), Louisiana State University School of Law (1986)

Areas of Practice:
-Oil & Gas
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts; United States Supreme Court.

Publications:
The Revision Of The Law Of Obligations - Its Effect Upon Mineral Rights And Contracts, 33rd La. Ann. Inst. on Min. Law 1 (1986); Problems Arising From Lack of Access to Markets, (Gas Balancing and Royalty Issues) 38th La. Ann. Inst. on Min. Law 321 (1991); Gas Balancing, 42nd La. Ann. Inst. on Min. Law; Good Faith for Purposes of Acquisitive Prescription in Louisiana and France, 28 La. L. Rev. 662 (1968); Partial Resolution of Mineral Leases, 30 La. L. Rev. 84 (1969)
Education
  • Louisiana State University
    Juris Doctorate , 1970

Justin M. Chopin

Mr. Chopin joined the firm as an associate in 2014. He practices in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance coverage and insurance litigation, tort and casualty defense, mass tort litigation, personal injury, property damage, professional liability, and class action litigation. Throughout his career, Mr. Chopin has worked in numerous practice areas, each with an emphasis in litigation. He has extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in maritime and admiralty litigation, products liability, insurance defense, coverage, and bad faith litigation, and commercial litigation. He is also qualified as a Civil and Domestic Mediator pursuant to La. R.S. 9:4106 and La. R.S. 9:334.

Mr. Chopin received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Dallas in 2002 and his Juris Doctorate with a certificate in International Law from Loyola University New Orleans, College of Law in 2007. While at Loyola, Justin was a member of the Moot Court Staff, served as the Alumni Chair for the Trial Advocacy Board, was a member of the Executive Board for the Student Bar Association, and graduated at the top of his class. He was a member of the National Trial Advocacy Team and the Louisiana State Trial Team and later served as a Coach for the National Trial Advocacy Team. He is often invited to help coach Loyola's teams today and is an active member of Loyola's Skills Faculty.

Mr. Chopin was a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Carl J. Barbier of the Eastern District of Louisiana and a Legal Intern for the Honorable David S. Gorbaty and the Honorable Roland Belsome of the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. Chopin is actively involved in the Louisiana State Bar Association where he served two terms as the District One Representative to the Young Lawyers Division, representing Orleans Parish. He serves as a committee member on the Committee on the Profession, as well as the Client Assistance Fund which is dedicated to compensating clients who were defalcated by their attorney and have no other recourse. In 2014, Mr. Chopin was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as an Assistant Examiner for Civil Code I.

Mr. Chopin has been awarded the "AV" Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating for ethical standards and legal ability. He was selected as a Louisiana Super Lawyers, Rising Star in 2012, 2013 & 2014. He was named by New Orleans Magazine as a Top Attorney in the field of Admiralty/Maritime and Commercial Litigation in 2012 and a Top Attorney in the field of Commercial Litigation in 2013. Mr. Chopin was named by New Orleans City Business as a Top 50 Leader in Law in 2012 and was awarded the Bat P. Sullivan, Jr. Chair's Award for services to the Bar in 2011.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2007

Education: Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana, Juris Doctorate, Certificate International Law, 2007; University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 2002; Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana, Emergency Medical Technician, 1998

Affiliations:
Judge John C. Boutall American Inns of Court, 2010; Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, 2009; New Orleans Bar Association, 2008; Federal Bar Association, 2007; Louisiana Bar Association, 2007.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Commercial Litigation
-Insurance Coverage
-Maritime & Admiralty

Bar Admissions:
Louisiana; Mississippi; Texas - United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana; All Mississippi Chancery, County, and Circuit Courts; US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi; US. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi; United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Publications:
Panelist, Louisiana State Bar Association's Committee on the Profession's Professional and Ethical Dilemmas Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 5, 2012; Speaker, Louisiana State Bar Association's Professional Development Seminar "Litigation Practice Tips for Young Lawyers", New Orleans, Louisiana, January 20, 2012 ; Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Skills Faculty, "Trial Tactics", September 3, 2011; Coauthor, Assessing the Damage: A Deluge of Class Action Suits Hit the Gulf Coast, October 2005; Presented at the LexisNexis Mealy's Conference for Catastrophic Loss in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Defense Research Institute's Insurance Committee in Chicago, Illinois
Education
  • Loyola University College of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2007

Michael E. Coney

Michael E. Coney is "Of Counsel" to the firm practicing oil, gas and energy law. Mr. Coney received his B. A. from the University of New Orleans in 1968 and his J. D. from Loyola University, New Orleans in 1972 where he was a member of the Loyola Law Review. In 1977, while on an academic fellowship, he earned a Master of Civil Law degree from Louisiana State university. In 1995, he completed with distinction an LLM degree at Tulane University in Energy and Environmental law. From 1972 through 1975, he served as a law clerk to the honorable James A. Comiskey in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. After practicing law privately, in 1978 Mr. Coney joined Shell Oil Company as an attorney where for twenty-nine years until retirement in October, 2007, his practice focused on the regulatory and statutory aspects of exploration, production and development on the Outer Continental Shelf as well as drafting and interpretation of agreements related to mineral development among co-lessees in the OCS. In addition to support of shallow water shelf activity, he was also integrally involved in legal support of Shell's expansion into the deep water Outer Continental Shelf beginning with the Auger project in 1990 and continuing through the 2007 Perdido Regional Development Project. His practice has encompassed MMS regulatory operational issues, OCS lease sales, OCS unitization proceedings and appeals, federal royalty appeals both regulatory and judicial, resolution of incidents of OCS non-compliance, the drafting and interpretation of shelf and deepwater unit and Joint Operating Agreements and their associated exhibits of gas balancing, COPAS, and integrated project team exhibits, as well as negotiation of drilling contracts, and drafting of fabrication contracts for offshore platforms and facilities. His practice required frequent appearances before the Mineral Management Services on issues involving royalty, operational regulations and incidents of non-compliance. Mr. Coney was for over twenty years an active member of The American Petroleum Institute Subcommittee of Exploration and Production Law and served twice as its Chairman. He also served as Chairman of the Offshore Operations Committee legal subcommittee for twenty years. During this time for both groups he was frequently involved in the review and drafting comments on both regulations and bills impacting the Outer Continental Shelf. In 2004, he was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and served through 2007 as an industry representative to the Minerals Management Service Royalty Policy Committee whose function is to advise the Secretary on royalty matters. For several years he served as a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. He has been a guest speaker at the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute, The Houston Bar Association, the RMMLF Institute on Federal and Indian Royalty Valuation and Management, and has for several years served as co-chair as well as a speaker at the RMMLF Federal Offshore Oil & Gas Leasing & Development Short Course.

Year Admitted to Practice: Louisiana: 1972

Education: Loyola University, J.D., 1972; Louisiana State University Law Center, M.C.L., 1977; Tulane University, LL.M., Energy/Environmental Law, with distinction, 1995

Law School Honors:
Loyola Law Review

Affiliations:
Louisiana State Bar Association. Member of American Petroleum Institute Subcommittee of Exploration and production law 1985 2007 serving twice as Chairman; Chairman of Offshore Operator's Legal Subcommittee 1987 2007. Industry Representative to MMS Royalty Policy Committee 2004 2007. Member Board of Trustees Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation since 2005-2008.

Areas of Practice:
-Oil & Gas
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts, United States Supreme Court, U. S. Tax Court, U. S. Court of Federal Claims.
Education
  • Loyola University
    Juris Doctorate , 1972

M. Taylor Darden

M. Taylor Darden is a founding partner of the firm, with an active oil and gas based practice. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1974, and his Juris Doctor in 1977, both from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mr. Darden is a former member of the Advisory Council for the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute, where he served two terms as its Chairman (1990-92). He also served a two-year term on the Louisiana Law Institute (1991-92) and was later appointed as a member of the Institute's subcommittee for the revision of the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act (1992-1995). Over the years, he has been active in the alumni affairs of the LSU Law School, and in 1995 served as President of its alumni association. Mr. Darden practices oil and gas litigation with emphasis on technical and operational disputes among working interest owners. He also handles expropriation litigation, land management and general oil and gas advices concerning mineral leasing, land use and exploitation and royalty collection, indemnity and insurance coverage disputes, general commercial litigation, and the negotiation, preparation and review of joint venture and joint operating agreements, exploration and participation agreements, farm in and farm out agreements, gas balancing agreements, drilling contracts, and gas purchase and sales contracts. In October 2005, Mr. Darden was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1977

Education: Louisiana State University, B.A. 1974; Louisiana State University Law Center, J.D. 1977.

Law School Honors:
Advisory Council of the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute (1988-1992 and 1994-1997), Chairman (1990-1992); Council of the Louisiana Law Institute (1990-1992); American Bar Association (Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section, Litigation Section);Fifth Circuit Bar Association; Louisiana State Bar Association; New Orleans Bar Association; Professional Landmen's Association of New Orleans (Board member); Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers.

Affiliations:
Advisory Council of the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute (1988-1992 and 1994-1997), Chairman (1990-1992); Council of the Louisiana Law Institute (1990-1992); American Bar Association (Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section, Litigation Section);Fifth Circuit Bar Association; Louisiana State Bar Association; New Orleans Bar Association; Professional Landmen's Association of New Orleans (Board member); Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers.

Areas of Practice:
-Commercial Litigation
-Oil & Gas
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts; United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Claims; United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

Publications:
Current Problems Under the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Statute, 31st Annual Institute on Mineral Law (1984); A New Look at the Implied Obligations, 34th Annual Institute on Mineral Law (1986). Lien On Me: Comfort and Security in Oilfield Privileges. An Annotated Outline to the 1995 Amendment of the Louisiana Oil Well Lien (Privilege) Act, La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 9:4861 - 4873, Seventh Annual Oil and Gas Seminar, Professional Landmen's Association of New Orleans(1995).
Education
  • Louisiana State University Law Center
    Juris Doctorate , 1977

John Anthony Dunlap

John Anthony Dunlap is a founding partner of the firm. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts cum laude from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida in 1978 where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia, South Carolina in 1987. While attending law school, Mr. Dunlap entered the moot court competition and earned a membership on the Moot Court Bar. As part of his duties to the Moot Court Bar, Mr. Dunlap served on the International Moot Court team participating in the Philip C. Jessup International Law moot court competition. Mr. Dunlap engages in an active practice of commercial litigation representing a broad spectrum of clients, including oil, gas, and chemical companies, financial institutions, real estate developers, and telecommunications companies in a wide variety of commercial disputes.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1987

Education: University of Florida, B.F.A. cum laude 1978; University of South Carolina School of Law, 1987.

Law School Honors:
Moot Court Bar (1985-87), International Moot Court Team (1986-87), Best Brief in J. Woodrow Lewis (3L) Moot Court Competition (1986-87), Am. Jur. Award for Highest Grade in Personal Income Taxation.

Affiliations:
American Bar Association (Business Law Section, Litigation Section); Fifth Circuit Bar Association; Louisiana State Bar Association; South Carolina Bar; New Orleans Bar Association; Federal Bar Association.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Oil & Gas
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
New Orleans, Louisiana State and American Bar Associations; South Carolina Bar.

Matthew J. Fantaci

Matthew J. Fantaci is a partner with the firm. Mr. Fantaci was an associate at the firm from 2004-2009, he then spent one year as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, practicing in the Civil Division defending suits filed against the United States. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia in 1998. In 2002, Mr. Fantaci received his law degree from Louisiana State University. While at L.S.U. he served on the Board of Editors of the Louisiana Law Review and was a member of Order of the Coif. Following graduation, Mr. Fantaci served two years as a judicial law clerk, first with Justice Jeffrey P. Victory of the Louisiana Supreme Court and then with Judge W. Eugene Davis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2002

Education: University of Georgia, A.B.J. 1998; Louisiana State University, J.D., 2002.

Law School Honors:
Order of the Coif; Board of Editors, Louisiana Law Review; David L. Herman Award for Civil Law Property.

Affiliations:
Member, Louisiana State Bar Association, Energy Bar Association, Professional Landmen's Association of New Orleans, American Bar Association.

Areas of Practice:
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Oil & Gas
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and Federal courts.

Publications:
Digital Dilemma: Could the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Have Inadvertently Exempted Napster And Its Progeny From Liability 62 La.L.Rev. 643 (2002).
Education
  • Louisiana State University
    Juris Doctorate , 2002

William T. Finn

William T. Finn is a founding partner of the firm. He received a B.S. in Accounting from Louisiana State University in 1978, and received his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law in 1982. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, commercial real estate developments and financings, defense of lender liability claims, debt enforcement actions, bankruptcy, and general business and corporate law. He is a member of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, as well as member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the New Orleans Bar Association. Mr. Finn is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and a member of the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1982

Education: Louisiana State University, B.S. 1978; Tulane University School of Law, J.D. 1982.

Law School Honors:
American Bar Association (Business Law Section); Louisiana State Bar Association (Corporate & Business Law); New Orleans Bar Association; Member, Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Construction
-Insurance Coverage
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts.
Education
  • Tulane University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1982

Russell L. Foster

Russell L. Foster, a partner with the firm, has litigated and argued a wide variety of matters in both federal and state courts. He also has extensive experience in mediation and arbitration proceedings involving labor and employment issues, commercial disputes, and personal injury. Since 1999, Mr. Foster has practiced almost exclusively in the area of labor and employment law, and he has given and contributed to speeches and presentations concerning topics such as workplace torts, the impact of the National Labor Relations Act in the non-union workplace, and investigations of employee misconduct.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1995

Education: Louisiana State University, B.A. summa cum laude, 1992; Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary, J.D. 1995.

Law School Honors:
Order of the Coif, Moot Court, American Jurisprudence Award.

Affiliations:
Member: American Bar Association, (Labor and Employment Section, Litigation Section); Fifth Circuit Bar Association; Louisiana State Bar Association; Texas State Bar Association.

Areas of Practice:
-Commercial Litigation
-Labor & Employment

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts; Texas state courts; United States District Courts for Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas.
Education
  • College of William and Mary
    Juris Doctorate , 1995

J. Patrick Gaffney

J. Patrick Gaffney is a partner with the firm. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1980, and his Juris Doctorate in 1983, both from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Gaffney was Senior Vice President and counsel for over 17 years at Hibernia National Bank, where he handled workout transactions, debt enforcement actions, asset sales, general lending advices, bankruptcy, and defense of lender liability claims. His practice at the firm focuses on these matters and commercial litigation, trouble debt re-structurings, and general business and corporate law.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1983

Education: Louisiana State University, B.A. 1980; Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, J.D. 1983.

Law School Honors:
Louisiana State University Moot Court Board.

Affiliations:
Louisiana State Bar Association; American Bar Association; Louisiana Bankers Association (Bank Counsel Section).

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts; United States Supreme Court.
Education
  • Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center
    Juris Doctorate , 1983

Emily Lippold Gordy

Registered Patent Attorney
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Emily joined the firm as an associate in 2011. Her practice focuses on patent litigation, with an emphasis on matters concerning biotechnology, chemical, and petrochemical technologies. Ms. Gordy is experienced in all aspects of litigation, from pre-litigation counseling through appeal, including case development, discovery management, motion practice, hearings, and appellate briefing.

Her practice also includes counseling clients on IP transactions; conducting freedom-to-operate, patentability, validity and non-infringement analyses; and due diligence investigations. She has further assisted in matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Board of Appeals and Patent Interferences.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2007

Education: Ms. Gordy received a B.S.Ch.E. in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University in 2004. She received her J.D. in 2007 from the University of Houston Law Center where she was a Notes and Comments editor of the Houston Law Review.

Affiliations:
American Bar Association (Intellectual Property Section); Federal Bar Association; New Orleans Bar Association; American Intellectual Property Law Association.

Areas of Practice:
-Business & Corporate
-Intellectual Property

Bar Admissions:
Registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office; All Louisiana and Texas State and Federal Courts; United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
Education
  • University of Houston Law Center
    Juris Doctorate , 2007

Brian W. Hoffman

Brian W. Hoffman is a partner with the firm, practicing in the firm's Pensacola office. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration majoring in Finance with high honors from the University of Florida in 2000, and received his Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Mississippi in 2002. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, real estate litigation, real estate transactions, estate planning and probate, debt enforcement actions, and general business and corporate law.

Mr. Hoffman is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Real Estate. He is currently a Fellow with the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar for 2012-2014. He serves as member of the Real Property Litigation Committee and the Title Issues and Standards Committee for the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar.

Year Admitted to Practice: Florida, 2003

Education: University of Florida, B.S. Business Administration majoring in Finance, 2000, magna cum laude - University of Mississippi School of Law, J.D., 2002, cum laude

Law School Honors:
Associate Editor for the Mississippi Law Journal; Recipient of the Dean Robert J. Farley Award; Outstanding Student Award for Secured Transactions

Affiliations:
Florida Bar; Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar (Member, 2003-Present); Business Litigation Section of the Florida Bar (Member, 2003-Present); Escambia-Santa Rosa County Bar Association (Member, 2003-Present); Young Lawyers Division of Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association (Member, 2003-Present; Board of Directors, 2004-2008; President, 2008); American Inns of Court (Member, 2004-2006). Leadership Pensacola, Class of 2008; Seville Rotary Club, (Member, 2012-Present); Five Flags Sertoma Club (Member, 2004-2011); Pensacola Catholic High School, Mock Trial Coach, 2004-2006, District Champions 2005, Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc. Mock Trial Competition.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Construction
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Florida state courts, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, and U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Publications:
Real Estate Case Summaries, ActionLine, Vol. XXXV, No.1, Fall 2013 (published by The Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar); Real Estate Case Summaries, ActionLine, Vol. XXXIV, No.3, Spring 2013; Real Estate Case Summaries, ActionLine, Vol. XXXIV, No.1, Fall 2012.
Education
  • University of Mississippi School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2002

Linda A. Hoffman

Linda A. Hoffman is a partner who practices in the firm's Pensacola office. She received her B.S. degree in education in 1978 and received her J.D. from the University of Florida in 1985. For over ten years, she was in-house counsel for Hibernia National Bank where she was an Executive Vice President who managed the Bank's legal department and its commercial loan operations, retail loan operations and loan documentation functions. Her practice focuses on banking, commercial financings, debt restructures, debt enforcement actions, commercial real estate and general business and corporate law. She is a member of the Florida Bar Association, the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association, the Louisiana Bar Association, the Texas Bar Association (inactive) and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys. She remains active in IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area, a women's philanthropic organization serving Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida.

Year Admitted to Practice: Florida Bar-1985; Louisiana Bar-1986; Texas Bar-1991.

Education: Pensacola Junior College, A.A. 1975; Middle Tennessee State University, B.S. 1977; University of South Alabama, M.S. 1980; University of Florida College of Law, J.D., 1985.

Law School Honors:
Senior Executive Editor, University of Florida Law Review; Order of the Coif.

Affiliations:
IMPACT 100, Pensacola Bay Area (member 2004-present; President 2006-2008); Sacred Heart Foundation Development Board (2004-2007); Member Board of Directors, Pensacola Chamber of Commerce (2007 2008); Manna Food Bank (2003-2005; President 2004); Cordova Rotary (Board of Directors 2005-2006); Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association (Executive Council 2004-2006); United Way Fund Distribution Panels (2002-2006); United Way Board of Directors (2010-present); Diocesan Commission for Catholic Schools (2004-2006); American Bar Association (Business Law Section); Florida Bar Association; Louisiana Bar Association; and Texas Bar Association.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Florida state courts; Northern and Middle Districts of Florida; all Louisiana state and federal courts; U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Education
  • University of Florida College of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1985

Matthew C. Hoffman

Matthew C. Hoffman is a partner with the firm, practicing in the firm's Pensacola office. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with highest honors in 2003 from the University of Florida, and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida College of Law in 2003.

Mr. Hoffman is admitted to the Florida and Alabama Bars, and practices primarily in the areas of real estate transactions and development, real property law, community association law, probate, wills and estates, foreclosure and debt enforcement actions, landlord/tenant law, and general business and corporate law. Mr. Hoffman is a member of the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association and is actively involved as a Board Member of the Young Lawyers Division since 2008. Matthew is also actively involved as a Board Member of Manna Food Pantries since 2005, and currently serves as President of the Board for 2009.

Year Admitted to Practice: Florida, 2003; Alabama, 2007

Education: University of Florida, B.S. Accounting, 2000, summa cum laude; University of Florida College of Law, J.D., 2003

Affiliations:
Alabama Bar; Florida Bar; Escambia-Santa Rosa County Bar Association (Member, 2004-Present); Young Lawyers Division of Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association (Member, 2004-Present; Board of Directors, 2008-Present); American Inns of Court (Member, 2004-2006); Manna Food Pantries (Board of Directors, 2005-Present; President, 2009); Northeast Pensacola Sertoma Club (Member, 2004-2009); Brothers-Big Sisters (Mentor/Volunteer, 2004-2006)

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Florida and Alabama state courts, and U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
Education
  • University of Florida College of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2003

Timothy J. Jacquet

Timothy J. Jacquet practices oil and gas law. During the past 30 years, he has worked on a wide range of energy-related matters, including exploration and production agreements, drilling, service, and offshore construction contracts, operating and other land agreements, property acquisition and divestiture transactions, oil and gas marketing transactions, commercial and royalty disputes, and regulatory issues and proceedings.

A significant portion of Mr. Jacquet's practice focuses on deep water drilling and major offshore infrastructure projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Jacquet received his B.A. degree from Rice University in 1977 and his J.D. degree, with Honors, from University of Texas at Austin in 1980. He is licensed to practice law in Louisiana and Texas and before various U.S. Courts of Appeal.

Mr. Jacquet has served as the Chair of the Royalty Task Force of the Domestic Petroleum Council (now known as the American Exploration & Production Council), a trade association of large independent U.S. oil and gas companies. In that role, he was responsible for interfacing with other industry trade associations and congressional and agency staff regarding proposed federal energy legislation and with advising association members regarding legislative and litigation matters relating to federal royalties. He has also been an active member of the American Petroleum Institute Subcommittee on Exploration & Production Law and a director and officer of the New Orleans Chapter of the Energy Bar Association.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1980 (Texas); 1992 (Louisiana).

Education: Rice University, B.A. 1977; University of Texas School of Law, J.D. with Honors 1980.

Areas of Practice:
-Business & Corporate
-Oil & Gas
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana and Texas state and federal courts. United States Courts of Appeal for various circuits.
Education
  • University of Texas School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1980

I. Harold Koretzky

I. Harold Koretzky is a founding partner of the firm. He received his B.S. degree from the Louisiana State University in New Orleans and his J. D. degree from Loyola University School of Law. Mr. Koretzky served with the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") in both New Orleans and Washington D.C., culminating in the position of Deputy Assistant General Counsel. Since leaving the NLRB, he has represented management clients in labor and employment law matters, and has extensive experience in representing employers in collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, and mediations, and before various state and federal agencies and courts at both the trial and appellate levels. Mr. Koretzky is a member and past chairman of the Labor Law Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association, a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association ("ABA"), and served as the Management Chair of the ABA's Committee on Practice and Procedure Under the NLRA from August 2001 thru August 2005. He is a frequent speaker on, and has developed and presented numerous management-oriented programs addressing the broad range of labor and employment law issues impacting employers. Mr. Koretzky has been an adjunct faculty member of Loyola University School of Law, having taught the course in labor law, and is a Fellow to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1968

Education: Louisiana State University in New Orleans, B.S. 1965; Loyola University School of Law, J.D. 1968.

Affiliations:
College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, elected Fellow (2003); American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Management Chair, American Bar Association Committee on Practice and Procedure under the National Labor Relations Act (2001- 2005); Adjunct Faculty, Labor Law, Loyola University School of Law; National Labor Relations Board, Washington, D.C., Deputy Assistant General Counsel; National Labor Relations Board, 15th Region, New Orleans, Louisiana, Supervisory Attorney, Trial Attorney and Trial Specialist; Louisiana State Bar Association, Section on Labor Relations, Secretary-Treasurer, Vice Chairman and Chairman; and Phi Alpha Delta (LSUNO).

Areas of Practice:
-Labor & Employment

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts; and U.S. Fourth, Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal.
Education
  • Loyola University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1968

J. Matthew Miller III

Registered Patent Attorney
United States Patent and Trademark Office

J. Matthew Miller III joined the firm as an associate in 2009 practicing Intellectual Property law. Matt graduated from Duke University in 2001 with a B.A. in Computer Science, also majoring in Psychology and graduated cum laude from Tulane Law School in 2009. Prior to law school, Matt worked as a Software Engineer in New Orleans and is named as a co-inventor on three pending United States Patent Applications in the fields of image processing and video surveillance. During Law School, Matt created and operated several websites which have been used millions of times and have been noted in national media. Matt also worked with the "Durationator" project of the Tulane Center for Intellectual Property Law and Culture, creating the logic representation language and accompanying logic engine enabling the site's detailed analysis of worldwide copyright law. As a result of this work, Matt is named as a co-inventor on an international patent application. Matt has also created several iPhone applications, including: Louisiana Civil Code, Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, Louisiana Code of Evidence, Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure, Louisiana Civil Code Ancillaries, Louisiana Mineral Code, Louisiana Worker's Compensation Code, Louisiana Insurance Code, and Ciolino on Louisiana Legal Ethics. Matt has experience in open source software, web application development, search engine optimization (SEO), internet advertising, and affiliate marketing. In addition, two of Matt's recipes are featured in Crescent City Moons, Dishes and Spoons, a cookbook published in 2009 by the Junior League of New Orleans.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2009

Education: Duke University, B.A. 2001; Tulane Law School, J.D., 2009

Areas of Practice:
-Intellectual Property
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
Registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office; All Louisiana state and federal courts; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Publications:
The Trouble with Traditions: The Split over Eldred's Traditional Contours Guidelines, How They Might Be Applied, and Why They Ultimately Fail, 11 Tul. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop. 91 (2008). Golan v. Gonzales: How Copyright Restoration Alters the Ordinary Copyright Sequence and Invites First Amendment Review, 10 Tul. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop. 353 (2007).
Education
  • Tulane Law School
    Juris Doctorate , 2009

Leann Opotowsky Moses

Leann Opotowsky Moses is a partner with the firm, practicing bankruptcy and commercial litigation. She received her B.A. from Vanderbilt University in History in 1985, and her J.D. in 1989 from Tulane University School of Law. Mrs. Moses is on the regional board for the Anti-Defamation League, on the Board of Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana (Chair 2004-2006), on the Board of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, on the Board of Catholic Charities Archdioceses of New Orleans, on the Isidore Newman Board of Governors and the Executive Committee of the Archbishop's Community Appeal. She has been on the Isidore Newman School Alumni Association Board serving as president from 1998-2000, vice president from 1996-1998, and secretary from 1994-1996. Additionally, Ms. Moses has been involved with the Touro Infirmary Foundation Board and Auxiliary, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, and the New Orleans Pro Bono Project.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1989

Education: Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1985; Tulane University School of Law, 1989.

Affiliations:
Regional board for the Anti-Defamation League, Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana; Executive Committee of the Archbishop's Community Appeal; Isidore Newman School Board of Governors; Greater New Orleans Foundation; Women of the Storm; Board member of Catholic Charities Archdiocese New Orleans (2003-2008); Isidore Newman Alumni Association Board (1992-2002); President,1998-2000; Vice President, 1996-1998; Secretary, 1994-1996); Touro Infirmary Foundation Board (1996-1999) and Auxiliary; Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans; New Orleans Pro Bono Project; Louisiana State Bar Association; Texas Bar Association; American Bar Association; New Orleans Bar Association.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Commercial Litigation
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts; Texas state courts.

Philip D. Nizialek

Philip D. Nizialek is a partner in the Firm, practicing in litigation of complex oil and gas and maritime insurance coverage issues. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from South Texas College of Law in 1991. Mr. Nizialek is an Associate Member of the Maritime Law Association, and a Founding Member of the South Texas Insurance Forum.

Mr. Nizialek primarily represents policy holders in complex insurance coverage disputes. He has extensive experience both opining on coverage questions and litigating those questions in the state and federal courts of Louisiana and Texas. Mr. Nizialek's experience as a risk manager and insurance professional in the oil and gas and maritime industries prior to receiving his law degree allows him to bring a practical, business oriented approach to insurance coverage problems. Moreover, Mr. Nizialek has extensive experience in interpreting oil and gas "package" policies, including all forms of well control insurance. He has also assisted policy holders in resolving complicated environmental liability claims with their insurers and has litigated coverage questions with regard to both offshore and onshore damage to oil and gas facilities as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike.

Mr. Nizialek also represents policy holders in insurer receivership actions; particularly involving "net worth" issues, and has extensive knowledge of reinsurance issues, including negotiation of reinsurance commutations.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1991

Education: State University of New York at Stony Brook, B.A. 1974; South Texas College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude 1991

Affiliations:
Mr. Nizialek is a Member of the Maritime Law Association, Houston Bar Association and the South Texas Insurance Forum.

Areas of Practice:
-Commercial Litigation
-Construction
-Insurance Coverage
-Maritime & Admiralty
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana and Texas State and Federal Courts; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Publications:
Oilfield Anti Indemnity Statutes (co-authorized with Lyle Rathwell) 2007; Contractual Risk Transfer, Portfolio of the International Risk Management Institute; Insurance Matters in the Oil & Gas Industry: Coverage for Louisiana and Texas E & P Exposures; Oil & Gas Seminar of the Professional Landsman's Association of New Orleans (2008).
Education
  • South Texas College of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1991

Theodore S. Owers, III

Theodore (Todd) S. Owers III practices intellectual property law. Mr. Owers received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1986 and his J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in 2000. While attending the Loyola University School of Law, Mr. Owers was a member of the Moot Court Staff. He is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Mr. Owers is a member of the Intellectual Property Law Sections of the LSBA and the ABA. He practices in both state and federal court. Mr. Owers' primary practice areas are trademarks, domain names, computers and software, trade secrets, copyrights, and unfair competition. Prior to beginning his law practice, Mr. Owers was a power distribution engineer with Florida Power & Light, and then later a software developer and database designer with a software development firm in New Orleans.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2000

Education: University of Notre Dame, B.S. 1986; Loyola University School of Law, J.D. 2000.

Law School Honors:
Moot Court Staff.

Affiliations:
Louisiana State Bar Association; American Bar Association (Intellectual Property Law Section); Member, St. Ann School Board, Metairie, Louisiana, 2001-2004; Member, Louisiana Technology Council; Member, Archbishop Chapelle High School Advisory Council (2007-2013) .

Areas of Practice:
-Intellectual Property
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
Louisiana state courts; United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana; United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Publications:
Co-author, Festo's Doctrine of Equivalents: Vitality Reaffirmed in View of New and Old Hurdles, 48 Loy. L. Rev. 551 (2002).
Education
  • Loyola University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2000

Robert S. Rushing

Robert S. Rushing, a partner with the firm, practices in the areas of commercial litigation, taxation, bankruptcy and creditor's rights, real estate, and corporate and business law. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 2001 from the University of South Alabama, and received his Juris Doctor summa cum laude from the Appalachian School of Law in 2005. In 2013 he received his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Alabama. Robert is a member of the Florida Bar, the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar and the American Bar Association.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2005

Education: University of Alabama, LL.M., Taxation, 2013; Appalachian School of Law, J.D. summa cum laude 2005; University of South Alabama, B.A. 2001.

Affiliations:
Florida Bar; Escambia-Santa Rosa County Bar Association; Young Lawyers; Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar; American Bar Association; Justice Teaching Program; American Inns of Court; American Bankruptcy Institute; Pensacola Big Game Fishing Club

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Construction
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Florida state courts and U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida; U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Education
  • Appalachian School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2005

Susan J. Santa Cruz

Susan J. Santa Cruz practices real estate and banking law. She received her Bachelor of Science in 1985, magna cum laude, from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1988, she received her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana. She joined the law firm in 1994. Her practice includes providing legal services for banks in and outside Louisiana, as well as other creditors and debtors involved in financial transactions of all kinds. Ms. Santa Cruz also represents sellers and purchasers in real estate transactions. Her business practice includes corporate, limited liability company and partnership formation and structuring, acquisitions, mergers and general business matters and advices.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1988

Education: Louisiana State University, B.S. magna cum laude 1985; Tulane University School of Law, J.D. cum laude 1988.

Affiliations:
American Bar Association (Business Law Section); Federal Bar Association; Louisiana Bankers Association; Louisiana Bar Association; New Orleans Bar Association.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts.
Education
  • Tulane University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1988

Joseph S. Schwertz, Jr.

Mr. Schwertz is "of counsel" to the firm. His practice focuses on banking and corporate matters. Mr. Schwertz was formerly executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Whitney Holding Corporation and Whitney Bank, an $11 billion commercial bank with 160 branches located along the Gulf Coast from Tampa to Houston. Prior to joining Whitney as its chief legal officer in 1990, Mr. Schwertz was a partner in the New Orleans law firm of Milling, Benson, Woodward, Hillyer, Pierson and Miller. He received his law degree, with honors, and his MBA, from the University of North Carolina in 1982, where he was Editor in Chief of the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation. He received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of New Orleans in 1977.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1982 (Louisiana), 1998 (Florida) and 2006 (Texas).

Education: University of New Orleans, B.S. 1977; University of North Carolina, J.D. with Honors, 1982; University of North Carolina, MBA, 1982.

Law School Honors:
Editor in Chief of the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state and federal courts. Texas state courts. Florida state courts.
Education
  • University of North Carolina,
    Juris Doctorate , 1982

Stephen P. Scullin

Stephen P. Scullin joined the firm as an associate in 2006. He received his Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Louisiana State University in 2003. In 2006, Mr. Scullin received his Juris Doctor and Bachelors of Civil Law from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. While at L.S.U., he served as Executive Secretary of the Student Bar Association, was a Senior Associate of the Louisiana Law Review, and was a member of the Order of the Coif.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2006

Education: Louisiana State University, B.S., 2003; Louisiana State University, J.D. / B.C.L., 2006.

Law School Honors:
Order of the Coif; Louisiana Law Review; John T. Laycock Memorial Scholarship Recipient; Jules F. Landry Memorial Scholarship Recipient; Board of Supervisors Scholarship Recipient; CALI Award for Highest Grade in Legal Research and Writing, Business Associations, Federal Civil Procedure, Mineral Rights, Louisiana Security Devices, and Successions and Donations.

Affiliations:
Member, Louisiana State Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Energy Bar Association.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Oil & Gas
-Real Estate
-Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state courts; United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana.
Education
  • Louisiana State University
    Juris Doctorate , 2006

Robert S. Stassi

Mr. Stassi is a partner with the firm.

Practice Areas and Experience: Mr. Stassi has extensive experience representing clients in the construction, real estate, oil and gas and banking industries. He has represented clients in disputes in all forums, including state court, federal court, arbitration proceedings, and in mediations.

On behalf of both businesses and individuals, Mr. Stassi has successfully handled a variety of commercial litigation matters, including: breach of contract claims; oil, gas and mineral lease disputes; servitude and other right of way disputes; commercial and residential lease disputes and evictions; representing contractors, owners and design professionals in all manners of construction claims; enforcement of liens; Louisiana Private Works Act and Public Works Act claims; business and consumer fraud; lender liability; debt collection; and insurance coverage disputes.

Mr. Stassi also advises clients on contractual, risk management and general business issues.

He regularly drafts and negotiates master service agreements, indemnity agreements, construction contracts and all types of lease agreements.

Mr. Stassi has been awarded the "AV" Peer Review Rating by Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating for ethical standards and legal ability.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1997

Education: Louisiana State University, B.A. 1994; Louisiana State University, J.D. 1997.

Affiliations:
American Bar Association (Sections of Litigation and Environment, Energy and Resources); New Orleans Bar Association (Director, Young Lawyers Section, 1999-2000); Fifth Circuit Bar Association (1997-2001); Federal Bar Association (1997-2002); Energy Bar Association, New Orleans Chapter (2005-present); Professional Landmen's Association of New Orleans; Member Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) New Orleans/Bayou Chapter (Presenter, topic "Enforcement of Construction Liens," Associated Builders & Contractors' Legal Edge Seminar (August 2013)); Judge, John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition, 1998; Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (Hearing Committee Member, 2009-2013, Hearing Committee Chairperson, 2013-2014); Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Louisiana Chapter, Golf Classic Committee (2007 2012, Co-Chair 2013).

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Construction
-Insurance Coverage
-Maritime & Admiralty
-Oil & Gas
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana State Courts; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana; U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana
Education
  • Louisiana State University
    Juris Doctorate , 1997

Sarah E. Stogner

Sarah Stogner's commercial litigation practice focuses primarily on representing policyholders in an assortment of insurance coverage disputes, including those in the oil and gas industry seeking coverage under commercial general liability and well control policies. Ms. Stogner joined the firm as an associate in 2012. Prior to joining Carver Darden, she practiced as an associate in the commercial litigation section of Jones Walker. Ms. Stogner's prior experience includes assisting in the representation of a retailer and manufacturer in a redhibition and Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA) action, the representation of several different companies in defending slip and fall claims, the representation of multiple chemical manufacturers in thousands of personal injury lawsuits arising from unplanned releases, the representation of a power plant in a citizen's suit challenging its Clean Air Act permit, the representation of a local university in obtaining Stafford Act funding after Katrina, and the representation of a construction company in Katrina levee breach litigation.

Ms. Stogner has also assisted in the representation of oil and gas companies in land contamination cases, and the representation of a pipeline company in pursuing damages against the manufacturer for defective pipe. In 2010, Ms. Stogner led a team of lawyers that reviewed more than 1 million documents over the course of 3 months in response to an administrative investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for offshore operations of a multi-national company. Ms. Stogner has also written articles on important legislative and jurisprudential developments within the areas of energy, environmental, toxic tort, green, and product liability law, as well as developments regarding electronically stored information, ediscovery, litigation hold responsibilities, and spoliation.

She received her juris doctor degree and bachelor of civil law from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 2008. Ms. Stogner graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Order of the Coif. While at LSU law, she received several awards for oral advocacy, including the top overall novice advocate for the spring 2007 Flory Trial Competition. Ms. Stogner was also a member and team captain of the LSU Environmental Moot Court team, which was a semi-finalist in the 2007 national environmental moot court competition held at Pace University Law Center each January.

Ms. Stogner is an honoree of the New Orleans City Business 2013 Leadership in Law class.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2008

Education: Louisiana State University, B.S. International Trade and Finance 2005 summa cum laude; Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University, J.D./B.C.L. 2008 magna cum laude.

Affiliations:
Ms. Stogner is actively involved in the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA), American Bar Association (ABA), Federal Bar Association (FBA), and Louisiana Association for Defense Counsel (LADC). She is also a member of the Texas State Bar Association. She was a member of the 2010-2011 LSBA Leadership Class, and is currently serving a 3 year appointment on the LSBA Legislation Committee, which assists the state legislature by providing information on substantive and procedure developments in the law and forms the official LSBA stance on proposed legislation impacting the legal community. She is also the delegate-elect for the Louisiana Young Lawyer seat to the ABA House of Delegates and will take office at the commencement of the ABA annual meeting in Chicago this August. Additionally, Ms. Stogner was recently appointed as one of the Louisiana Delegates to the ABA Young Lawyer Division Assembly. Ms. Stogner is also a board member of the Younger Lawyer Division Board for the New Orleans Chapter of the FBA. And Ms. Stogner also serves on the continuing legal education committee of the LADC. She also volunteers with United Way, as a member of the Women's Leadership Council, Women in the Next Generation committee member; and volunteers at the Ozanam Inn through HELP, an organization led by the Honorable Jay Zainey, a Federal District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, which provides notary and legal consultation for the New Orleans homeless community.

Areas of Practice:
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Insurance Coverage

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state courts; United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western District Courts of Louisiana; Texas state courts; the Eastern District of Texas and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Education
  • Louisiana State University
    Juris Doctorate , 2008

Frank A. Tessier

(Current Managing Member)

Frank A. Tessier is a founding partner of the firm who practices real estate and banking law. He received his Bachelor of Science in 1976, and his Juris Doctorate in 1979, both from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He serves on the committees of the Louisiana Law Institute responsible for revision of the Louisiana Civil Code articles on sales and compromise. He is a member of the Louisiana Bankers Association and served on the Bank Counsel Security Device Task Force (1989-1993) and Bank Counsel Committee (1996-1998). He was an Executive Board Member on the Friends of the Cabildo, New Orleans, Louisiana, from 1991 to 1994. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is a past President of Garden District Security District (2006-2008) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Garden District Association.

Frank A. Tessier's areas of concentration are:

-Banking and Finance: Legal services for banks in and outside of Louisiana, as well as other creditors and debtors involved in financial transactions of all kinds, including but not limited to commercial and construction financing, local counsel for bond financing, equipment financing, trouble debt restructurings and debt enforcement actions.
-Corporate: Preparation and negotiations of organizational documents for corporation, partnerships and limited liability companies and related agreements and purchase agreements for the acquisition of companies and/or their assets.
-Real Estate: Representation of seller and purchasers in sales and exchanges of developed and undeveloped real estate; preparation and negotiation of leases on improved and unimproved office, industrial and shopping centers; subdivision and reclassifications of zoning of property; development of residential subdivisions and related building restrictions and home owners associations; all other kinds of real estate transactions, and litigation relating to real estate.
-Oil and Gas: Representation of land owners in oil and gas leases, pipeline rights of way, surface and subsurface leases for oil equipment, and salt water injection leases.
Mr. Tessier is also a licensed title insurance agent for First American Title Insurance Company and Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1979.

Education: Louisiana State University, B.S. 1976; Louisiana State University Law Center, J.D. 1979.

Law School Honors:
2003 to present - Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business directory; 2005 to present listed in The Best Lawyers in America as one of the top lawyers in the area of Financial Institutions Law; 2005 to present Listed in New Orleans magazine as one of the top lawyers in New Orleans in the area of Financial Institutions Law, 2009 City Business Leadership in Law Award.

Affiliations:
American Bar Association; Southeast Louisiana Chapter of American Red Cross, Board of Directors (2003-present); Executive Board (2004-present); Chairman of By-laws Committee (2004-09); Chairman of the Board of Directors (2009); President of Garden District Security District (2006-2008); Member of Board of Directors of Garden District Association (2009); Friends of the Cabildo, Executive Board Member (1991-1994); Louisiana State Bar Association (Chairman, Mineral Law Section, 1991); Louisiana Bar Foundation; Louisiana Bankers Association (Bank Counsel Committee) Security Device Task Force (1989-1993); Louisiana Bankers Association (Bank Counsel Committee 1996-1998); Louisiana Law Institute Committee on Revision of Sales (1986-present) and Committee on Revision of Compromise and Accord (1999-present); New Orleans Bar Association; Licensed title insurance agent for First American Title Insurance Company.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Construction
-Oil & Gas
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state courts; United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; United States District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Louisiana.
Education
  • Louisiana State University Law Center
    Juris Doctorate , 1979

David F. Waguespack

David F. Waguespack is a partner in the Firm, practicing in bankruptcy, commercial litigation, creditor's rights, and gaming law. He has represented lenders, debtors, creditor committees, and other parties in complex Chapter 11 reorganizations and related litigation and has served as a Chapter 11 trustee. Mr. Waguespack regularly represents investors acquiring property in and out of bankruptcy. He has handled litigation relating to liens, real estate, construction, shareholder's rights, lender liability, and other commercial matters.

Mr. Waguespack is recognized for his work in bankruptcy and restructuring in Best Lawyers, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Louisiana Super Lawyers, and the Legal 500. He was selected by New Orleans CityBusiness to be in the Leadership in Law Class of 2008.

He is board certified in business bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification and by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. He is a co-chair of the Corporate Governance Subcommittee of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association and serves on the TARP Task Force of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association. Mr. Waguespack is currently Vice-Chair of the Bankruptcy Law Advisory Committee. He has served on the Bank Counsel Committee of the Louisiana Banker's Association and as editor of the Louisiana Lender Letter. Mr. Waguespack is also an adjunct professor of business law at Tulane University.

Mr. Waguespack graduated with a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Tulane University Law School in 1991. He was a member of the Tulane Law Review from 1989 to 1991 and an Associate Editor from 1990 to 1991. He received the Mitchell Franklin and American Jurisprudence Awards and was a Senior Fellow. Mr. Waguespack is a member of the Order of the Coif.

Mr. Waguespack is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations. He is married with two children. He was born in Covington, Louisiana on September 14, 1966. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College in 1988 where he graduated with the John Henry Davis Award for the outstanding History major.

Year Admitted to Practice: 1991

Education: Rhodes College, B.A. 1988; Tulane University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude 1991

Affiliations:
American, Federal, and Louisiana State Bar Associations; Adjunct professor of business law at Tulane University; Board certified in business bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification and by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization; Co-chair of the Corporate Governance Subcommittee of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association; TARP Task Force of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association; Secretary of the Bankruptcy Law Advisory Committee; Previously served on Bank Counsel Committee of the Louisiana Banker's Association and as editor of the Louisiana Lender Letter.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Gaming

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana State and Federal Courts
Education
  • Tulane University Law School
    Juris Doctorate , 1991

Jessica Kesler Woodruff

Mrs. Woodruff joined the firm as an associate in 2010. She practices with the firm's Banking & Finance, Business & Corporate and Real Estate groups, representing lenders and borrowers in and outside of Louisiana, as well as other creditors and debtors, involved in financial transactions of all kinds, including but not limited to commercial and construction financing, local counsel for bond financing, equipment financing, trouble debt restructurings, debt enforcement actions and the structuring, negotiation and documentation of credit facilities secured by various types of Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) collateral and real estate. She assists the firm's real estate clients with the negotiation and drafting of purchase agreements, sales and leases and has also represented clients in the areas of planning, zoning, subdivision, and permitting requirements on the state and local level. Mrs. Woodruff further represents clients in the areas of general business and corporate law, including the drafting and negotiation of organizational documents for corporations, partnerships or limited liability companies as well as purchase agreements for the acquisition or divesture of company stock or assets.

Mrs. Woodruff graduated from The University of Alabama, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, and earned her Juris Doctorate and a Bachelor of Civil Law from Louisiana State University's Paul M. Hebert Law Center in May of 2007. While in law school, she was a member of the Moot Court Board and a finalist in the Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition. Prior to joining the firm, Mrs. Woodruff was an associate at Chaffe McCall in New Orleans in the Business and Real Estate Group.

Mrs. Woodruff currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans chapter of C.R.E.W. (Commercial Real Estate for Women) and she is also a member of the ABA Section of Real Property Trust and Estate Law.

Year Admitted to Practice: 2007

Education: University of Alabama B.A. 2003; Louisiana State University, J.D. 2007.

Affiliations:
Louisiana State Bar Association, American Bar Association Real Property Section, Board Member of the New Orleans Chapter of Commercial Real Estate for Women.

Areas of Practice:
-Banking, Finance, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights
-Business & Corporate
-Commercial Litigation
-Real Estate

Bar Admissions:
All Louisiana state courts, all Louisiana federal courts, and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Education
  • Louisiana State University
    Juris Doctorate , 2007
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